Category Archives: United Kingdom

United Kingdom

Led Zeppelin – 1970

I have just been lucky enough to receive the three remastered Led Zeppelin albums – Led Zeppelin I, II and III.

I am listening to them now (on quite loud, of course), as it’s the only way possible to hear these ground-breaking works. Without doubt one of my very favourite bands, and I was lucky enough to see them in their heyday.

I took a few pictures of them with a very simple, plastic Hanimex 35mm camera. I think this was my first 35mm camera, as I only started using an SLR later that year.

They were taken at their first gig at Leeds University, in the Refectory on January 24th, 1970. The band had an enormous touring rate, yet still had amazing energy.

I was told by the University archive people that these are some of the only surviving images of that gig. They aren’t great images, despite trying to rescue them with today’s software! But I thought I’d share them.

Led Zeppelin

Led Zeppelin

Led Zeppelin

I also just read an excellent article in Slate by Jack Hamilton – “Good Times Bad Times: Modern rock didn’t start with Dylan or the Beatles. It started with Zeppelin

It’s a great read, for anyone interested in music, and the pictures are better too!

And if you haven’t caught up with this yet, get the Led Zeppelin II Remaster.

Lead guitarist Jimmy Page was always a good producer, so I am not sure how much better this remaster is on the final tracks. But the companion disc of outakes and early versions (especially of “Whole Lotta Love“) is superb listening.

Led Zeppelin 2

Style (with a purpose) on Saturday

Hampstead Colour Wash -5

Wandering around Hampstead yesterday, on a very pleasant and chilled Saturday, I came across this stylish lady collecting for the Children’s Hope Foundation.

She talked to everyone, catching some unawares, but always with a smile.

Hampstead Colour Wash -4

She had a canny way of talking to passers by, with an infectious personality and a positive word to say about everything.

Everyone stopped.

And she had a style completely her own.


Leica M9 and Noctilux F/1.0 50mm, post processed in Color Efex Pro.

Bath Street Artists – Living Statue

Stevan Mortensenz

I am working on a project to capture the amazing diversity of street life and art in Bath.

Bath is an old city, yet one steeped in today. It is a mix of sixties hippies, tourists and young people having fun. It is a city of the arts, of buskers of all kinds.

The “Living Statue” is a local favourite.

Stevan Mortensen

This weekend I got into conversation with our “Living Statue”. His name is Stevan Mortensen, and he’s originally from Ecuador.

Stevan used to live in Cardiff, but now he calls Bath home.

Stevan Mortensen

Stevan told me he is working on a “blue” idea, set up high, which will take a couple of months to get right.

It will complement his gold and white statues.

The ‘gold’ Stevan has a neat trick with water pouring from his “hands” into a cup and back again.

Can’t wait for the ‘blue’!

Stevan Mortensen

More pictures of the Bath street scene here


Figure & Ground – New Street Agenda, May Challenge

Figure & Ground -1

The New Street Agenda Group on Facebook, started by Knut Skjærven, runs a monthly challenge.

For May, it is all about “Figure and Ground“.

“You need to capture a street scene where there is a strong and distinct FIGURE, and a distinct and supporting GROUND. If you prefer an other wording for the same, you need to take a picture with a strong SIGNAL and a low level of VISUAL NOISE. Think of a piece of music. You can’t hear the flute unless the rest of the orchestra holds back. In this challenge you are the conductor and so you must make that happen. The FIGURE should consist of ONE PERSON ONLY. It needs to have a size and a visibility that makes it the NATURAL FIGURE without discussion. In addition, you will give the FIGURE a clear BREATHING SPACE that helps define it in the picture”.

Here’s my submission. And see mickyatesphotography

Bristol, Leica M9-P, Elmarit-M 28mm, Silver Efex Pro

Tried some other treatments, too, in Silver Efex Pro. First, high contrast:

Figure & Ground 2

Then, finer, silvered:

Figure & Ground 3

And, finally, cropped

Figure & Ground

Buskers in Bath – Jerri Hart

Jerri is a popular “fixture” on the Bath busking scene, with a unique combination of jazz style, musicianship and melodic crooning.

I was out yesterday with the M9, and asked Jerri if I could take his picture.

Jerri Hart


When I got back, I really liked the image. As usual, decided to process in black and white, with Silver Efex Pro.

Doesn’t this capture Jerri’s spirit better?

Jerri Hart

Even after all these years, I am always intrigued to see the “character strength” in black and white.

Find out more about Jerri at